Expert Panel Provides Guidance for Beach Access During COVID-19

The Surfrider Foundation has a long history of fighting to protect and promote beach access and coastal recreation opportunities; however, we are in an unprecedented time that requires some public beach closures for a temporary period. The Beach Access Expert Panel was called upon to utilize their specific expertise to inform local and state beach access policymaking. 

As a strong network of coastal users, Surfrider Foundation is relied upon throughout the nation for timely, thoughtful, and considerate advice on the protection and enjoyment of coastal resources in an equitable manner. This guidance informs beach access and management decisions in the difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic, including the ability, frequency, and manner in which the public may be able to use the beach.

The guiding principles developed by the experts are detailed below: 

1. Public Trust and Mental Health

2. Limiting Access When Necessary

3. Science and Consultation

4. Equity in Coastal Access

5. Public Open Spaces in Every Community

6. Public Responsibility

Safe access to the coast requires that the public follow the guidelines that have been established to promote public health. The effectiveness of beach restriction measures will depend upon the actions of the people who are visiting the beach.

To keep beaches open, beachgoers must act as good stewards of our environment and communities and follow the best practices put forth by public health and coastal management experts.

Read the full report from Surfrider Foundation